…In Closing

Today was the closing ceremony for the 2013 American Planning Association in Chicago, Ill. I am going to spend this last planning blog discussing the last three conferences:

Denver – Denver was my second trip out west. For some strange reason, jet lag didn’t conquer me as much as it did in Seattle. Kevin and I took the Ski Train to Winter Park. After speaking with an older planner, who had made skiing his hobby, we thought that we would put aside our own reservations and give it a try. However, the Winter Park Trip was a comedy of errors. For one thing, the altitude in Knoxville has nothing on the Mile High City, and we actually became too ill to follow through on that ambition. I’m pretty sure that our limbs and backsides heaved a huge sigh of relief. We were content to watch skiers fly down the fluffy white snow from the huge floor to ceiling windows in the lodge. When we felt a little better, we found ourselves wondering around that shopping center that was in that Tyler Perry Movie, Why Did I Get Married. The second issue is that I tore my contact lens and was forced into wearing my glasses. I was not to happy having to attend the remainder of the conference looking like Mr. Magoo’s Sister.

Denver was like Chicago in that it had extreme weather. When we arrived in the city it was freezing cold and snow had recently fallen. Then practically the next day, we’re walking past a snow drift in 80 degree weather. Towards the end of the conference week, the weather had settled into mild temperatures. What I liked about Denver was its transportation system and its proximity to homes and businesses. Kevin and I found that we could travel practically everywhere using Denver Transit, which is its light-rail system.

‘Ms. M’ attended the Denver Conference accompanied by ‘Mr. D,’ who was also a planner. At this point we thought about creating a, “Finding a Planner Spouse” seminar and setting up a panel discussion. The four of us had a good time at dinner where I had learned of their upcoming nuptials. We also visited the African-American museum, where we found that Black people played a prominent role in the settlement of the West. *Singing Buffalo Soldiers*. If you ever visit Denver, I recommend dropping by the museum. Denver was indeed an enjoyable city to visit.

2007- Philadelphia – Kevin and I were pretty much on our own for this conference as most of our planner friends were unable to attend this conference. On the bright side, we were able to meet ‘Ms. D’ there. ‘Ms D’ and I became friends during a summer course in Historic Preservation. UNO hosted students from all over that summer. ‘Ms. D’ was from New York. It was a very eventful summer but I’ll save that for another blog post although I have talked about our Mississippi River Road trip in this post. To my delight, ‘Ms. D’ returned to New Orleans to obtain a Master’s Degree in Historic preservation from Tulane. From there she had gotten a job in Philadelphia (during the New York APA Conference actually) and had been in the city ever since. Anyway, I hadn’t seen ‘Ms. D’ since our wedding, so I was excited to see her during this conference. By Philadelphia, I was no longer practicing planning – see this post – so I waited for Kevin to attend his sessions and then the free time belonged to the two of us. Of course we visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, but the highlight our sightseeing can be found in this previous blog.

So Philadelphia was the last conference Kevin and I attended. I do have one more conference to blog about, however.

2005 San Francisco – This was the conference to which I had most looked forward. Kevin and I had talked about going to San Francisco for years. From Kevin, I had heard it was a beautiful city to visit and I had never been to California. We did not make it to the San Francisco American Planning Association Conference, by the way. The conference had been held starting on March 19th. Our son was born nine days later…

Will Kevin and I ever attend an American Planning Association Conference again? That remains to be seen. But you may see us donning a name tag again or you just may see us wandering around a city where the conference is being held pointing out the neighborhoods and “ah-kitechture”. Maybe.

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